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Is a PIN number needed for credit card charges?

Is a PIN number needed for credit card charges?

Old Mar 16th, 2019, 04:55 PM
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Is a PIN number needed for credit card charges?

Although I've traveled to Europe dozens of times, I'll be heading to Denmark and Sweden in May and had heard that credit card users have to have PIN numbers to use their cards. I've used credit cards on all of my trips and never had to provide a PIN. Is this something new or just bad information?

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Old Mar 16th, 2019, 06:17 PM
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Sometimes you do, but most times you don't need a pin. We have been denied in railroad ticket machines for not entering a pin. Most of our travels in several countries last fall prompted the vendor to ask us for a signature. Sometimes they seemed surprised that a signature page popped out of their machines (at grocery stores, for example, where most locals don't need that with their cards). We went online and received pin numbers from our card companies, and now carry a PIN number for all our cards just to be safe.
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Old Mar 16th, 2019, 06:23 PM
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Neither. You were not given the full story. It is not new.
PIN is needed if there is no person around to complete the transaction and the amount is not "Trivial." A typical instance is using a ticket machine.
PIN is not needed if you are dealing with a person and is capable of printing a signature slip for you to sign. I have never seen those feel-good signature pads commonly used in the U.S.
For a PIN to work, your card must be capable of performing a PIN based purchase. If you are using a U.S. bank issued card, only a handful of them are capable of doing such transactions. When you go to a bank in the U.S. you will be given a worthless advice that your card has a CHIP and your card has a PIN. That PIN is always usable at ATMs to get very expensive cash advance in bank's favor -- the reason all the banks allow this. Hardly none of them is usable at vending/payment machines when a non-trivial sum is involved.
The toughest country to use a U.S. credit card is Netherlands. There are places you need a PIN purchase capable card even when dealing with a person.
When you hear an anecdote from a person who happened to have used a credit card on vending machines only, that person will report that a PIN is needed.
When you hear the same from someone else who used a card at manned sales points frequented by international visitors, that person will report no problem using a card without a PIN.
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Old Mar 17th, 2019, 10:34 AM
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The only time I had a problem was trying to check out of a grocery store with a self check machine. They moved me to a regular line where the staff asked for a signature.
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Old Mar 17th, 2019, 11:45 AM
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I travel to Sweden & Denmark several tines a year. I have a house in Sweden so am always buying things there. Iím always asked for a PIN, whether I use my Swedish issued cards or a foreign one. There is always a machine where you are required to enter a PIN, in supermarkets, wine store, hotels, restaurants, at the market, manned & unmanned gas stations, even church donations. All these places have staff (except some gas stations). If you donít have a PIN, I expect youíll be asked for a signature.

Last edited by Odin; Mar 17th, 2019 at 11:48 AM.
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